I’ve had a bad craving for a sandwich on Dutch Crunch bread ever since I received the Bouchon Bakery book for my birthday. Thomas Keller (not the only chef I read, but seemingly the only chef I talk about) just released the beautiful tome dedicated to all things baking last month and it’s a truly stellar collection with step-by-step photos to guide the baking newbies (myself included).
His recipe for roast beef on Dutch Crunch caught my eye, and I’m not much of a bread baker … YET. But I must have caught the world in a Dutch Crunch deficit, because the bread was super hard for me to find. I looked in OC, and even in NorCal when I was up there last week. Couldn’t find it here, and up there one place was seriously sold out. I found some finally at Zonotto’s in San Jose. I bought a small loaf, brought it in my luggage … and finally, SANDWICH BLISS.
I split the bread with the wife to cut the calories in half and dressed it up as best I could while keeping calories in mind: 3 oz. each of angus roast beef (sliced at the deli counter), 1 slice provolone cheese, 1/3 roma tomato, mixed greens, thin-sliced red onions, a smear of yellow mustard on the top and the bottom and a dash of salt and pepper to finish.
Each half was 370 calories. You can cut another 50 calories per side by using half a slice of cheese instead of a full one. And even if you don’t like red onion, don’t skip it here. The acidic bite it provides works well with the mustard and accentuates the flavor of the lean beef.
Off the top of my head, I can come up with a shortlist of foods we should all have regularly: blueberries, almonds, green tea, dark chocolate, salmon and … kale. I hardly ever ate it before, but the leafy green has been used a few times here on Fat Dude.
Full of vitamins and minerals, kale is a neutral green that goes well in a variety of dishes. That’s why Chef Brian decided to spotlight kale with our Week 32 menu:
Week 32, Meal 1: Honey-sherry marinated chicken over roasted butternut squash, kale and ciopolini onion
Week 32, Meal 2: Italian Sweet and Sour chicken over sauteed kale with balsamic raisins and toasted pine nuts
Week 32, Meal 3: Citrus and Adobo Marinated Tuna over roasted fingerlings, kale, and tomatoes with garlic-chile oil and adobo citrus sour cream
Each recipe makes two portions. Keep reading for the full shopping list.
Continue reading Week 32: Killer kale
I’m a Bay Area boy, so you know I love my seafood. Some of my earliest memories are spending time with family, shoveling clam chowder into my mouth from a mountainous bowl made of bread.
The second soup of our trio isn’t a creamy soup like my old favorite, but the smokey shrimp broth (which you make yourself) and sweet shreds of crab and fragrant slivers of fennel make this one unforgettable.
Here’s Week 31, Meal 2: Shellfish and tomato soup with grilled baguette. Continue reading Week 31, Meal 2: Sea soup
Excuse the lack of a “finished product” shot for this post, but I went three days in a row to freakin’ Sprouts for a loaf of French bread and they were sold out each time so we just ended up chipping away at this one until there was nothing left.
For the first meal of Week 31: Souper soups, Chef Brian is going Italian, throwing a whole bunch of healthy ingredients and good-for-you spices into a pot (kale, turkey, lentils, fennel, paprika) and serving it up piping hot. It probably would have been good with the parmesan bread on the side, but at least I saved a couple of carbs.
Prep is fairly simple and if you want to turn this one out fast, you can use store-bought Italian turkey sausage like I did. But we’ve also included Chef Brian’s Italian turkey sausage recipe in the post in case you have the time. I didn’t when I was able to cook this particular time, but I’m going to come up with a different way to use the recipe just so I can try it.
Here’s Week 31, Meal 1: Italian turkey sausage, kale, lentil and tomato soup with parmesan croutons.
Continue reading Week 31, Meal 1: Health food soup
Chef Brian gave me the option of using bomba rice or jasmine rice for Week 3, Meal 3: Vegetarian paella, but I really wanted the bomba to keep this as authentic as possible.
Lucky for me, Dave was willing to take me on a whim to La Espanola Meats in Harbor City to pick up the rice and nosh on some righteous paella. Theirs came with a charcuterie plate (with marinated olives I’m still dreaming about) and was packed with rabbit, chorizo, chicken and shrimp. It’s only served on Saturdays and if you’re anywhere close, you need to check it out.
But for the finale to our vegetarian menu, we’re ditching the meat and piling on the veggies. Everything is fresh, yet I’d file it under “stick to your ribs” because it’s so filling.
Follow the jump for the recipe and the how-to.
Continue reading Week 30, Meal 3: Mixed veggies
In my continuing effort to cook most of my meals at home, I went through this month’s cooking calendar on the Real Simple magazine’s website. I put a menu together for the week and plan to link to the dishes each day, just to get back into the habit of blogging meals. This weekend I plan to pick up veggies at the Farmer’s market (SOCO Collection’s spread was incredible last Saturday) and I’ll finally knock out the remainder of the vegetarian menu.
But until then, here’s a vegetarian dish from Real Simple that I was iffy to try, but thankful I did. It’s eggplant lasagna, made with slabs of eggplant (they call for it to be broiled, but I threw mine on the grill), a simple tomato sauce and creamy, herb-spiked ricotta.
Add a side salad drizzled in balsamic vinaigrette and this is both hearty and healthy–for under 400 calories. Here’s the recipe for eggplant lasagna from Real Simple magazine.
I was running low on grocery money this week so I chose to skip Week 29: Salads that don’t suck and instead bought meals I could stretch into many portions like pasta and polenta.
This was the most expensive dish I made all week, but I got five portions out of it, and I split the provided recipe in half.
A little background, since tri-tip chili with bacon fat in it isn’t really what we do around here (though it should be, every week, lol): I recently needed a big bowl of chili for a work lunch and turned to Chef Brian for a killer recipe.
All I told him was that it had to have tri-tip in it, and you work your magic from there.
The chili didn’t take a lot of effort to make and turned out absolutely delicious. So delicious that I decided to make it again, and this time, I wrote about it.
Keep reading for the recipe and instructions. Continue reading Chef Brian’s tri-tip chili
Of all the stupid walls I built up around food, my preconceived hatred of grits has to be the stupidest one.
Seriously, grits are essentially cornmeal pudding, smooth and creamy, but totally filling (just like polenta, though one is yellow corn and one is white corn from what I Googled) — and polenta/grits have quickly become a food I totally love. That being said, I admit that Week 28, Meal 2: Shrimp and grits is the first time I’ve had the dish and it’s everything I was hoping it would be.
Chef Brian’s version features a spicy shrimp gravy punctuated by salty bacon, the slight burn of jalapeno and a nice kick of cayenne pepper. It’s a dish so good that you’ll want to lick the plate after you’re done.
Feel free. I won’t tell.
Continue reading Week 28, Meal 2: Classic shrimp ‘n’ grits
We’re kicking off Southern week with one of Chef Brian’s most flavorful dishes to date, Week 28, Meal 1: Blackened chicken over black eyed peas, kale and ham hock.
What comes off the menu sounding deceptively simple is actually a bowl of steamy pork broth crowded with nutritious kale, savory ham hock, earthy black eyed peas, sweet corn and a juicy chicken breast that’s been kicked up with one awesome spice rub.
I suggest doubling the recipe on this one. Trust me, you’ll want leftovers. Continue reading Week 28, Meal 1: A deceptively simple chicken dinner
Halfway through eating, Wifey Nadia turned to me and said this dish tasted so good that it had to be bad for us. Fresh, comforting and delicious. Nothing bad about that, I say.
I may have overcooked my eggs just a little, depriving myself of the maximum-possible yolk for this dish, but the cheesy polenta and loads of produce in this dish, the fanciest of our three Breakfast for Dinner 2 meals, did not disappoint.
Here’s Week 26, Meal 2: Parmesan polenta topped with asparagus, leek and poached eggs with prosciutto, tomato and basil salsa. Continue reading Week 26, Meal 2: So good this has to be bad for you